As of 12th of October, the Open Eye Gallery will present to the public yet another outstanding display of talent in the face of three fascinating artists. As usual, the Open Eye Gallery is exemplary of a supportive establishment, where the arrangement, presence of light, and sophisticated appeal of the space all contributed to the creation of an ideal and successful exhibition.
David Martin’s collection Shifting Patterns: Travels in West Africa is an insightful account of the artist’s roaming and exploration of this culturally rich and visually overwhelming region. Martin’s work is urgently dynamic in its complexity, immersing the viewer in a disheveled, distantly beautiful world. The descriptive details in the artist’s profound work show us a glimpse into a foreign universe, soaked in emotion and contrasts, which is a vision both reality and the artist has constructed onto the canvas (or collapsed cardboard boxes, which is a definitive choice the artist has made, perhaps taking his cue from Basquiat’s use of improvised materials as the foundation for his pieces) for the public to experience. David is also the founder of Hidden Door, an alternative organization, which aims to showcase emerging talent across all artistic mediums. One especially interesting piece from Martin’s display is “The Shade (Cotonou)”, whereby the accents of bright red hues against the melancholy blue background acquire a certain arresting quality for the viewer. The painting exemplifies a specific documentative aspect to Martin’s work, which however doesn’t deprive it of its intense sensory representation of the subject matter.
Henry Kondracki’s work on display under the collective title Water, Light and Air is redolent of a perhaps lost, or at least hidden sense of beauty. The universal subject of the pieces is Edinburgh and its surrounding areas, which have probably embedded themselves in the artist’s mind since he grew up in the city. At first Kondracki’s work appears picturesque and rather tradition in terms of style, but it doesn’t take long for the viewer to discover the unique mark of Henry’s artistic expression: sensitivity. This quality is especially apparent in his acrylic piece “Pink Sky”. This delicate and bare portrayal of the city seems almost mystical, inviting, and ultimately- seldom seen. In the current environment, where Edinburgh’s historic features are superimposed onto our perception and often flood the passing images of everyday lives, it is truly comforting to catch a glimpse of such private, and consequentially fragile visions of the city one unavoidably comes to love.
Creatures of the Land and Sky by Lynne Windsor is a charming collection of detailed drawings of various pastoral subjects. Windsor’s presentation is particularly interesting, whereby her pieces exist in vintage optician boxes, wood clock cases, vintage frames, and others. The extent of the artist’s work ranges from detailed portraits of animals to abstract compositions, making for a diverse and unusual display.